MONKEY ISLAND, Okla. (Sept. 25, 2018) – Oklahoma Christian men’s golf coach David Lynn often refers to his players as “grinders,” and they lived up to that billing on Tuesday in the final round of the Missouri Southern Fall Invitational.
The Eagles ground out a team score of 8-under-par 280 at Shangri-La Golf Club, which proved enough to vault them into first place. OC’s three-round score of 848 was three shots better than that of Heartland Conference rival St. Mary’s (Texas), with the second-round leader, Southeastern Oklahoma State, finishing third at 855.
The team title was the 61st in the storied history of the OC program, but the first since last fall, when the Eagles won The Territory tournament at The Territory Golf Club in Duncan, Okla. Starting with the 1999-2000 season, OC has won at least one tournament title in every academic year but one (19 of the last 20 seasons).
The Eagles had been in fifth place among the 11 teams after the first round, but moved up three spots in the second round before earning the win on Tuesday.
As would befit a team of grinders, no OC player finished in the top five individually, but three finished in the top 10 in the 67-man field. Seniors Garrett White and Juan Pallach tied for sixth at 4-under-par 212, while senior Cameron Brown was one shot back, tied for 10th. A fourth OC player, sophomore Andres Brictson, had a top-20 finish, tying for 17th at 216.
On Tuesday, White posted his second straight round in the 60s, a 4-under 68, while Brown also went under par with a 69 on the 6,788-yard layout. The top-10 finish was the third of White’s OC career and the seventh for Brown, who joined White in transferring to OC from Tyler (Texas) Junior College before the 2017-18 season.
Pallach (who also recorded his seventh career top-10 finish) posted a 71 and Brictson had a 72. OC’s fifth starter, junior Trevor Norby, closed with a 77 and tied for 31st at 222.
Playing as an individual, OC senior Ethan Smith had his best round of the tournament, a 70 that put him in a tie for 23rd at 219. Another OC individual, sophomore Pablo Duster, posted an 82 that left him at 233, in 49th place.
Southeastern’s Zach James took top individual honors, finishing at 205 (11-under) for a three-shot win over Alejandro Santibanez of St. Mary’s.
As a team, Southeastern slipped slightly on the final day of the MSSU Men’s Fall Invitational to finish third, while Zach James was able to hold on for his second-straight tournament victory.
James saw his streak of rounds in the 60’s end at five, but still carded an under-par score on Tuesday with a 70 to finish with a three-round total of 205 to finish 11-under par for the event, ahead of second place by three strokes.
SE fired a final round 292 and finished with a three-round tally of 855, slipping from the top spot to third, seven shots behind winner Oklahoma Christian and four shots from second-place St. Mary’s.
Hayden Foster maintained his pace and turned in a top-10 finish, finishing tied for 10th after turning in a third-straight 71 to post a three-under-par 213 for the week.
Ryan Ward was SE’s next highest finisher after posting a final round score of 73 and finishing with a 218 for the event in a tie for 21st.
Jordan Holifield hit a rough patch on Tuesday, firing his highest round of the event with a 78 to finish tied for 28thoverall with an event total of 221.
Bryce Hughes rounded out the team with a 237 over the three rounds after carding an 83 on Tuesday and finishing tied for 53rd.
Southeastern will return to action Oct. 1-2 when it travels to Wichita, Kan., for the Newman Fall Invitational at Westview CC.